Newry Dairy Reaps Benefits of Improved Fertility Management

Keith runs Drummondmore Dairy, Newry alongside wife Ruth and two sons Josh and Jonny. The all-year-round calving herd of 600 Holstein-Friesians are currently running at a 9,500-litre average on a constituent-based contract with Lakeland Dairies.

L-R: Keith, Josh and Jonny Agnew, Cogent Technician Mark Feely, farm staff David Hughes

Keith knew he could improve technical performance, and to place greater focus on fertility employed the Cogent Precision service on farm in November 2018, taking on Reproductive Specialists provided by Cogent to manage the day to day reproduction and fertility on both the cows and heifers at Drummondmore.

“Before enrolling on Precision REPRO, I carried out all of the AI, with a relief technician filling in during my absence. I was getting reasonable results but knew that further improvements could be made. I wanted consistency, and a specific person to oversee and manage my fertility, so I approached Cogent, who were already supplying our herd genetics. Following the switch to PrecisionREPRO we’re able to maximise every pregnancy, whilst boosting milk output and increasing profits. Our pregnancy rate has increased by 7%* and we’re currently achieving 95% heifer calves with SexedULTRA 4M. The results speak for themselves.” explains Keith.

The genetic merit of the herd has been increased through working alongside Cogent’s Regional Sales Manager Ashley Fleming to develop an effective breeding programme. All breeding decisions are made with the aim to produce a productive, uniform, and fertile cow to suit the system.

In previous years, conventional Holstein semen was used, and a small amount of beef semen. In recent years, the breeding policy has switched from conventional Holstein semen and a small amount of beef semen, to using 100% SexedULTRA 4M and a larger proportion of beef semen.

All heifers and select cows are served with 3 straws of SexedULTRA 4M, with repeats served to Aberdeen-Angus beef semen. “It’s an expensive route to go down, but sexed semen has worked for us, and is outdoing conventional semen. It’s also great to have that peace of mind from knowing there is a higher chance of a heifer calf” explains Keith.

Get in touch with Ashley Fleming – Cogent’s Regional Sales Manager to find out what we can offer to you and your herd.

Farm Facts:

  • 600 Holstein Friesians
  • Milk supplied to Lakeland Dairies
  • 9,500 litres 4.15% butterfat and 3.5% protein
  • AYR Calving
  • 50/50 diet of grass and maize silage

Recent sires in the tank:

Rubi-Taz, Aladdin Red, Cyprus, Rubi-Haze, Santos, Razzy


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